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Well done green edge - another win in a TTT & no surprises with Omega Pharma - Quick-Step just 5 seconds back.
The old adage that you can't win a grand tour on the first day, but you can lose it. Sadly Dan Martin crashed out in 15 minutes & the weather played havoc with some of the favourites losing significant time in just 20 km.
Rigoberto Uran 5 seconds
Cadel Evans 7 seconds
Nicolas Roche 23 seconds
Rafal Majka 23 seconds
Michele Scarponi 38 seconds
Nairo Quintana 55 seconds
Domenico Pozzovivo 58 seconds
Ivan Basso 53 seconds
Przemyslaw Niemiec 1:20
Joaquim Rodriguez 1:33
Daniel Moreno 1:33
Ryder Hesjedal 3:26
I can't see Hesjedal making it back from there and Rodriguez and Quintana have their work cut out for them from here. All out attacks in the mountains will make for a great Giro
Ireland isn't showing it's best side with the weather although it is weather than you may expect when visiting.
Fantastic to see how the Irish are welcoming the Giro, pink flags and bikes hung up on the houses in towns. A great turn out despite crappy weather.
Marcel Kittel is simply a beast, Swift did everything right and had it sewn up then Kittel just went BANG!
Shocking day out there for OGE, crashing all over the place including Matthews but good to see him make his way back and keep the pink. There looks to be a stage coming up (5 I think) where Kittel might get his sprint blunted and Matthews gets his chance to grab a stage
Looked to me like Swift had a tactical bike change at just before 20k's to go. Definitely went to deeper wheels, can't say I've noticed this before other than in ITT's, so if that's the case Sky would be pretty shattered to get beaten, all went exactly to plan except for the last 5 metres.
Kittel has no chance on stage 5, but I don't think Matthews does either. I'm tipping a breakaway, maybe one of the punch little climbers that GC contenders will allow to get away. Maybe Fabian Aru or Pozzovivo (if they're allowed enough time). It could also suit Sammy Sanchez. Maybe BMC will let him have a crack at some glory before sacrificing himself for Cadel later on? Boasson-Hagan? Maybe even Adam Hansen?
Either way I think it's going to be the first exciting non-sprint finish stages.
What a difference a day makes - Kittel was running hot, but now he has overheated. Blows the points classification wide open Bouhanni, Viviani, Nizzolo, Ferrari & Swift all look to be in with a chance
No real change for the contenders / pretenders - Majka has gained a few seconds somewhere, but otherwise holding station. Maybe stage 5 will light the wick, but I expect the real attacks will start in stage 8
Rigoberto Uran 19 seconds
Cadel Evans 21 seconds
Rafal Majka 26 seconds
Nicolas Roche 37 seconds
Michele Scarponi 41 seconds
Ivan Basso 1:07
Nairo Quintana 1:09
Domenico Pozzovivo 1:12
Przemyslaw Niemiec 1:34
Joaquim Rodriguez 1:47
Daniel Moreno 4:10
Ryder Hesjedal 3:40
Stage 6! WOW! What a day for Australia!
A shame that a crash towards the end may have impacted some results, but Michael Matthews! Incredible to hang on during the final climb to win the stage and keep pink, and Cadel picking up major time on GC. I know the crash may have mad a difference, but the peloton clearly had no organisation to catch up to the leaders. Quintana was forever looking around, no one taking turns, so kudos to Evans for making the most of it! Wooo!
Exactly. Nobody likes to see the carnage that erupted at that roundabout, but it happens. A small group (incl. the Maglia Rosa) - who had worked hard to position themselves at the front, avoided the crash and took off up the climb. The chasing group simply did not work hard enough - preferring to stare blankly at one another. That is why the break got to the line.
Fairdinkum, some of the comments on social media would have one thinking Evans, Matthews and that lot had shoved sticks into someone else's spokes...
I haven't seen the comments, but seriously did those making the comments watch it!?!? At one stage there was a Belkin rider smashing himself on the front of the chase group, when he'd given 110% and peeled off, he looked around and there was simply no one willing to do what he had just done. The speed slowed instantly. They were only 30 odd seconds down. If a few more (and there were still plenty in that group) were willing to do that they could have closed the gap. Oh well. Things are looking good for Cadel!
Two fabulous days for Michael Matthews, huge efforts to hang on to the pink jersey, but yowsers that is some big changes in a short space of time
Cadel Evans 21 seconds
Rigoberto Uran 1:18 seconds
Rafal Majka 1:25 seconds
Ivan Basso 2:06
Nairo Quintana 2:08
Domenico Pozzovivo 2:11
Michele Scarponi 2:28
Przemyslaw Niemiec 3:41
Ryder Hesjedal 4:39
Daniel Moreno 5:46
Joaquim Rodriguez 9:40
Nicholas Roche 15:55
Two wildcard entering the contendors
Ivan Santaromita 1:47
Wilco Kelderman 2:11
As for the controversy, no doubt Evans will get no favours from the peloton, but did he ever ?
Strong win by Ulissi making it 2 stage wins
Evans in the pink now so will be interesting to see how BMC handle this, 2 weeks on the road defending the lead will put alot of pressure on that squad so they will be hoping Sammi Sanchez can really start helping once they get to the real mountains. I still think Quiantana will come good in the 3rd week after a torrid opening week with 2 crashes.
Well played Orica and Matthews, now it frees up riders like Weening to get into some breaks looking for a stage win
The first real mountain has shaken the rest of the chaff out of the top 10. Morabito will be sacrificed for Evans & the winner will come from the rest. While Basso is still in touch, on his ride in stage 8 I can't see him having the legs to make up time.
Cadel has a nice lead and anyone with aims at the title will have to attack. I suspect his tactics will be Indurain style - follow up the big mountains, and force the other contenders to chase down attacks which are a threat to their hopes - eg Hesjedal seems to have the legs to stay with the favourites but at 4:30 he is not yet a threat to Evans but the other contenders can't afford to let him make up time.
Of the 12 pre-race favourites, only 6 left in contention now
For good viewing, let's hope so. His one attempt to gain time on Evans last night was in the final km. Very hard to make up a couple of minutes that way!
Loved the red flag-waving official whose job was to stop the peleton going through the front door of an inconveniently placed house. These quaint little European towns are awesome.
I have been too tired and havn't caught a single stage yet (yawning right now). Still keen to see Cadel stay on top of this so even if I am not watching.. I am supporting.
There is the Cycling News android app.
I don't know what the rest of the Giro is looking like, apart from being hilly, but I think if Cadel has a consistent race, he should hold off Quintana, just. As long as he takes some good time on him on the ITT, he should be ok.
There are some monster stages to come... Cadel could lose 1 or 2 minutes easily on a few of those stages if he has a bad day. Steve Morabito rode well for him, it was good to see him get dropped, manage to get back on and bury himself to get back on the front when Cadel was out in the wind.
The ITT probably suits Cadel... looks like a pretty steady climb on the way out, the hill climb TT will be tough though... least he won't get attacked .
Long way to go... should be fun .
Morabito has been a great work horse so far. Sanchez said before it started he would be Cadel's last man. Haven't seen any help from him yet. Wondering if he's saving himself for later, or if he's just not up to it?
Would be good to see Cadel gain another 30+seconds on Uran and the rest over the first TT to give a bit more of a buffer. But yes, there are some big climbs yet to come!
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